Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by…next year, maybe?
When I heard that a new Sailor Moon series was in the works, I was sitting in “Cafe Talisman,” a Sailor Moon-themed cafe in Osaka, Japan. Nearly spitting out my “Tuxedo Mask Latte,” a wave of nostalgia hit me as my inner 5-year-old threatened to break free. As is the case with countless other young women, Sailor Moon played a large role in my childhood and holds a special place in my heart. To sit in a Japanese cafe and learn that my first favorite TV show would be getting another run was a dream come true.
This was nearly a year ago.
Last summer it was announced that for the Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary, Toei Animation was in the process of creating a reboot of the iconic anime series, with a theme song by Japanese pop group Momoiro Clover Z. With overhauled animation and a more organized approach to the storyline that better fit the original manga by Naoko Takeuchi, the new series would be the hallmark of the 2013 20th Anniversary campaign, which would also include new lines of merchandise. Sailor Moon fans everywhere rejoiced with the knowledge that their beloved sailor scouts would be returning to the spotlight, and that the series would finally get the much needed facelift it deserved. But as summer 2013 approaches, there is little to no news on the horizon.
Fumio Osano, editor at Kodansha, has asked fans to “please wait,” reassuring them that the studio is hard at work. Last month, in response to a concerned fan about the broadcast date for the series, Osano answered on his Twitter page in English: “Not 2014. Perhaps.” Whether he means that the series will be broadcast in 2013 or 2015, I have no idea. I wish he had answered the fan in Japanese; maybe then we would then have a better idea of how long a wait he is talking about.
At least some of the merchandise promises have come to fruition (I had the most difficult time finding Sailor Moon stuff in Japan while I was there, believe it or not). A 2014 Sailor Moon schedule book is to be released this August, and S.H.Figuarts just announced a new Sailor Moon figure, also set to come out in August. But this seems far from the original intention of the rebooters. Sure, a couple of pieces of merchandise are better than nothing, but this is Japan, world capital of collector goods. Surely there is something else in store?
At this point, all fans can do is wait. With no recent news, I’m starting to wonder whether we will see this reboot at all. Chances are it will happen eventually, considering the immense popularity of Sailor Moon both domestically and internationally, but the production team is secretive and selective about the information it releases.
It would be nice to see justice done to the series, particularly concerning the botched (even if nostalgic) English dub. Maybe US fans will finally be able to appreciate the relationship between Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune) sans DiC Entertainment’s homophobic compulsion to make them “cousins.” A modernized take would also be appreciated, and updated clothing styles would be a refreshing contrast to the ’90s sweaters and pastel fashion of the original (see: purple pants). The possibilities for improvement are endless, and if a Sailor Moon revival is in our future, it will surely be well worth the wait.